Not everyone has to worry about disposing of nuclear, chemical, or similarly hazardous wastes. Certainly, even if you did, you wouldn’t simply leave it on the curb for the trash collectors to dispose of. Still, there are several kinds of waste you may imagine are perfectly suitable for throwing into the local landfill but aren’t. Here are four unusual kinds of waste that require special disposal. Make sure you’re getting rid of them properly. Otherwise, you might face a fine or worse.
One of the most common special and hazardous waste violations is throwing out medical waste with regular garbage. Hopefully, if someone in your home employs single-use syringes for injecting insulin or similar medicines, you have a sharps container present for proper and safe disposal. Sharps containers are bright red, and you can throw them out with regular trash since they alert the crew and others to the container’s contents. Expired, unused, and contaminated drugs are another matter, however. You should never throw them away normally or release them into the waterways via the drain or toilet. Most cities have drug disposal sites at the local police department or elsewhere.
If you can change the oil in your car all by yourself, that’s good. But don’t make the mistake of containing the used oil in a jug and throwing it away, or worse, pouring it down into a drain or sewer. Used oil is deadly to plants and wildlife. A small amount can poison hundreds of gallons of clean water, and it’s carcinogenic to boot. In landfills, it can leach into the soil and travel far due to rainfall as well. Take your used oil to an oil change place or auto parts store. They’ll either take it or tell you where someone else will.
Cannabis may be legal in many places, but its byproducts require special handling upon disposal. Cannabis waste can include the plants themselves, the soil they grew in, seeds, papers, oils, edibles, and more. People need to mix and grind all compostable cannabis waste into compost with materials like paper, food waste, yard clippings, wood, and similar organic and non-cannabis materials. The goal is to make the cannabis unusable.
Asbestos and Other Building Materials
The last of our four unusual kinds of waste that require special disposal is unfortunately more common than it should be. Builders used asbestos in home and building construction for decades before people realized how hazardous it could be. Asbestos slowly breaks down, and when it’s disturbed during remodeling projects, it releases dust that can cause serious health issues for those who breathe it. Only professionals should handle asbestos removal and take precautions to pack and remove the asbestos from the premises. If you suspect asbestos is present during a rehab project, have your home tested before proceeding.